A boroughwide marijuana sales tax of up to 10 percent, and a rezone request to allow a commercial marijuana cultivation site on Gravina Island are in front of the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly on Monday.
The Assembly introduced the pot tax during its last meeting. Following a public hearing Monday, the Assembly will decide whether to adopt the ordinance establishing a retail marijuana tax of up to 10 percent.
If adopted, the tax still would need to be ratified by voters during the Oct. 4th municipal election.
The Assembly chose the language for the tax carefully. With “up to” 10 percent specified in the ordinance, that means the borough could set the pot tax at any level from zero to 10 percent, but couldn’t go over that amount without another ballot vote.
The City of Ketchikan already has adopted a 5-percent retail pot tax. If the borough tax is enacted, it would not mean a potential 15-percent marijuana tax within city limits. Instead, the borough would reimburse the city’s share out of the amount it collects.
Marijuana sales taxes are in addition to regular sales taxes.
The proposed rezone on Gravina Island would allow James Strassburg to grow commercial cannabis in a greenhouse on his property. The rezone is a needed step toward qualifying for a permit. The borough Planning Commission has recommended approval of the rezone.
Also Monday, the Assembly will consider a motion submitted by Assembly Members Bill Rotecki and Stephen Bradford that would increase the single-purchase tax cap from $1,000 to $3,000. The motion also calls for exempting the first $500 of residential rent from sales taxes.
Monday’s meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. in Borough Assembly chambers at the White Cliff building. Public comment will be heard at the start of the meeting and during public hearings.